sportsApril 23, 2024
Isaiah Collins ~ Sports Editor
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SEMO baseball completed a season sweep of Southern Illinois, defeating the Salukis 8-5 on April 23 at Capaha Park.

After a road trip to Tennessee Tech that saw SEMO drop two out of three games, the Redhawks wanted to begin their five game home stand with a victory.

“That’s huge. We’ve got quite a few home games in a row now and starting that one off with a W, we’re looking to just pick up a winning streak and keep it going,” senior outfielder Ian Riley said.

The Redhawks jumped out to an early lead in the first inning but ran into trouble in the top of the third inning when SIU tied the game at two a piece. The Salukis knocked SEMO’s starting pitcher, senior right hander Collin Wilma, out the game after only 2 ⅔ innings pitched. SEMO head coach Andy Sawyers said that the lack of innings from their starter was no reason to be alarmed.

“A day like today was pre-planned, it wasn’t as if we didn’t get the innings out of the starter,” Sawyers said. “We thought we were probably going to go two’s for everybody and Colin Wilma was so good for the first two we let him go back out there for the third.”

SEMO would take back the lead off the back of a solo home run freshman infielder Brooks Kettering. Kettering finished the day going two for three including the third inning solo shot. The freshman infielder said his simple yet positive demeanor is what keeps him ready for any game.

“I’m just trying to keep it simple in everything I do. Baseball is an easy game to get in your head and think about a lot,” Kettering said.

After Southern Illinois tied the game in the fifth inning it would be senior outfielder Ian Riley that hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, kick starting a four run inning by the Redhawks. Coach Sawyers applauded Riley’s attitude and his ability to take advantage of his opportunity.

“Sometimes you just need an opportunity,” Sawyers said. “Things haven’t gone his way this year in terms of playing time and getting opportunities but he is an elite young man, He is like an extra work guy, he’s always swinging and always working.”

The Redhawks would hold on to their lead with senior right handed pitcher Kyle Miller shutting the door on a Salukis comeback. SEMO will be back in action for a Fill the Hill & Donate Life game against Morehead State on April 26 at Capaha Field at 6 pm.